I really like spicy food, but my wife takes the love of chilies to a whole new level. She has her standards, and one could even argue that she is obsessed with spiciness. I learned one possible reason why, when reading a side-bar on the menu at Tamarind in Luang Prabang:
Why is there such a love of chili worldwide? Because when we eat them, our bodies product a natural high or ‘”chili buzz.” Lovers of hot and spicy food are probably addicted!
The chili pepper is an amazing fruit (yes, it is a actually a fruit). Some Burmese would starve without them, and their use of chilies may explain why they don’t get sick when eating their unrefrigerated leftovers:
Rich in Vitamin C, they [chilies] act as natural preservatives. Drying chilies concentrates the natural sugars and intensifies their flavors, and dried chilies give sauces complex flavors and spiciness.
In case the chili wasn’t impressive enough, I was recently informed that India is planning to use their spiciest “ghost chili” (which we sampled in Bangalore) to make eco-friendly hand grenades!